Matthew calls for the Environment to be at heart of policy

Matthew has joined calls from the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) to take a new approach to policy which puts the environment at the heart of everything we do.

The ideas are encapsulated in a new collection of essays penned by a diverse range of Conservative MPs - including Matthew - with an interest in this area and published by the CEN in a booklet entitled "Thinking differently about our environment: a holistic approach to policy".

The publication was launched in Parliament by Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, and supported by Environment Minister, Therese Coffey.

At the launch Sajid Javid emphasised the fundamental connections between good environmental policy and positive outcomes. The essays argue that we can reap previously unrecognized benefits by embedding our environment in policy. The collection of essays covers topics such as justice, housing, waste, health, horticulture, water, air quality, cycling, electric vehicles, rural communities and the circular economy.

Matthew said: "The Conservatives have a strong record on the environment. It was a Conservative Government that passed the first Clean Air Act, a Conservative Government that created the world's largest marine reserve, and a Conservative Government that has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change.

"However, as "Thinking differently about our environment" demonstrates, we need to embed environmental policy in areas such as housing, health and horticulture amongst many others. In building well-designed homes we reduce their environmental impact and also cut bills; in supporting our local green space we improve health outcomes; and in encouraging good horticulture we boost economic growth and enrich communities.

"I will be looking at the booklet in detail to see how we might take some of these ideas forward at a national level but also in the Hendon constituency. The shared benefits of embedding environmental sustainability in policy making cannot be underestimated."